Grandma’s Favorite Clam Chowder

This incredible clam chowder was introduced in the 1700’s to the east coast of America by the French. There are so many variations, not just around the world either! There are many variations here in Oregon alone. This is a basic chowder that was always a hit in grandma’s house.

Some people don’t like to add bacon because they just want the taste of clams. A fifty year ongoing debate in our household! If this is the case just withhold the bacon, either way it’s a great chowder.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped clams of your choice
  • 1 cup bacon cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
  • 4 cups potatoes, diced
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 4 cups clam stock (or substitute with water and clam base)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • Parsley for garnish

Preparation and Cooking

  1. In a large pot cook bacon pieces until brown, do not drain fat. Remove some bacon pieces for later garnish.
  2. Saute onions, carrots and celery in bacon fat until translucent.
  3. Add 1/2 the butter and melt to make a roux. Slowly stir in flour, stirring occasionally. Cook until roux is mixed well and starts to thicken. For a thicker chowder use a little more flour.
  4. Pour in the clam stock. Clam stock can be liquid from canned clams, freezer bags, or clam juice purchased in stores. If you prefer to use a clam base (available in some stores). Or you can make one by pureeing 1 cup clam meat, 1/4 cup clam juice, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt, then add water to this or clam juice to make 4 cups total.
  5. Add potatoes and chicken bouillon, simmer until potatoes are tender.
  6. Add clams, milk, half and half, salt and pepper to taste (for a richer, creamier chowder use 4 cups of half and half, no milk).
  7. Serve hot with bread or oyster crackers with crumbled bacon on top of each serving.